12/23/11 — Carolina 1-A rivals showing steady improvement on wrestling mat

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Carolina 1-A rivals showing steady improvement on wrestling mat

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 23, 2011 1:48 PM

One month into the high school wrestling season, three Carolina 1-A Conference wrestling rivals continue to show steady improvement on the mat.

But two are still chasing the league's premier powerhouse.

Defending conference champion Rosewood (18-6 overall) remained perfect inside the 1-A ranks this season with a 57-24 decision over Princeton, and a 56-21 conquest of Goldsboro. The Eagles' dual-team losses have occurred against 2-A, 3-A and 4-A opposition.

Princeton topped Goldsboro 54-28.

The performance of less-experienced wrestlers Jordan Batson (138 pounds), Samuel Drew (126) and Malique Boyd (106) drew praise from Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson after the tri-meet. Batson claimed a come-from-behind, 7-5 overtime decision over Goldsboro's Dijon Ward.

Boyd picked up two wins on the night. Drew finished 1-1 including a 2-1 loss to the Cougars' Jamelle James. Teammate Milton Atkinson, who handles the scoreboard duties, stepped in and earned a third-period fall over Princeton's Alex Harmon at 220 pounds.

Senior Taylor McGill collected career wins No. 98 and 99, while junior 120-pounder Nick Quillen boosted his career record to 129-11.

"Taylor continues to wrestle outstanding matches ... takes the initiative, is a true leader on this team and someone who pushes himself to get better every day," said Edmundson. "Nick will do anything that is asked of him. We intentionally weigh him in just over 120 pounds so he can bump up to 132 pounds for the benefit of the team."

Quillen has logged 22 pins and three technical falls this season.

Junior Forrest Stewart continues to lead Princeton. The three-sport standout climbed to 23-1 after a forfeit and a first-period fall over the Eagles' Kaleb Smith.

"Forrest has been doing great," said Bulldogs head coach Terry Braswell. "He knows the moves and is able to work them, feels the weight of the other wrestler and where he's at (on the mat). He's beginning to get more comfortable.

"We wrestled two good teams and we came out all right. I have some really young guys at the light heavyweights, but we're improving. I was pleased with how they hung in there and wrestled hard."

Princeton finished 3-5 in actual contested matches against Goldsboro, but benefited from six forfeits. The Bulldogs (7-10) reeled off the first 18 points against Rosewood, but eventually won just three contested matches and four overall.

The short-handed Cougars (1-23) received individual wins from Elijah Slater, Deshawn Oliver, James, Ward and Kurtis Durham against Princeton. Thomas Sheinall, Darrell Smithers, James and Durham each emerged victorious against Rosewood.

Slater improved to 14-11 overall this season, while Durham rose to 13-8.

"Some of the guys were out-matched by guys with a lot of experience and they just didn't quit," said second-year Goldsboro head coach Jim Phillips. "There was no quit in the team. They went out there, did their best ... looking for the home run (move) and they just went for it."